Because the success of mediation depends on compromise and collaboration, mediation can deter the negative effects of protracted litigation.
Mediation is a form of alternative dispute resolution. Mediation is a short-term, structured negotiation facilitated by a neutral third party, the mediator. The role of the mediation is to assist the parties in finding common ground, to offer creative solutions to the issues being discussed, and assist in drafting a final settlement. While resolution through the court system is a constitutional guarantee, mediation offers a range of advantages for parties desiring agreed disposition, including:
The mediation process is informal, a litigation is formal. Mediation provides more participation and discussion by the parties involved. There are fewer procedures and requirements. It also provides more flexibility and less intimidation. Mediation will take place in our conference room and offices rather than a courthouse.
Mediating parties also have more process control than they would in a courtroom. Litigants do not choose their judge while the decision of the judge or the jury is final. In a mediation, both sides agree on the mediator to hear their case, and each side can present the issues that are most important to them. In mediation, the parties can also choose whether to accept or reject the suggestions or recommendations made by the mediator before coming to a final agreement. And if no agreement can be reached, the parties can still opt for either arbitration or litigation.
Stage 1: Mediator's Opening Statement. After the parties are seated at a table, the mediator introduces everyone, explains the goals and rules of the mediation, and encourages each side to work cooperatively toward a settlement.
Stage 2: Disputants' Opening Statements. Each party and their counsel may describe, what the dispute is about and how each has been affected by it, and to present some general ideas about resolving it.
Stage 3: Joint Discussion. The parties and their counsel may begin talking directly about what was said in the opening statements. This is the time to determine what issues need to be addressed.
Stage 4: Private Caucuses. The parties and their counsel then will go to a private room and meet privately with the mediator to discuss the strengths and weaknesses of his or her position and new ideas for settlement. The mediator may caucus with each side, as needed. These private meetings are considered the essence of mediation.
Stage 5: Joint Negotiation. After caucuses, the mediator may bring the parties or their attorneys back together to negotiate directly.
Stage 6: Closure. This is the end of the mediation. When an agreement has been reached, the mediator will put its main provisions in writing. Each side will then sign the written summary of agreement, as agreed by their lawyers. If the parties want to, they can write up and sign a legally binding contract. If no agreement is reached, the mediator will review whatever progress has been made and advise every one of their options. Additionally, the mediator will advise the court of the pending litigation and the results of the mediation.
Judge Jim Parsons has been resolving legal conflicts for over 50 years. As a lawyer and a judge, he has tried to verdict over 300 jury trials. Judge Parsons has seen thousands of motions and arguments in litigation. His excellence both in the courtroom and as a lawyer has been recognized by his peers. Put Judge Parsons’ experience to work for you today.